What is telemedicine? Let’s cut right to the chase: telemedicine—not to be confused with “telehealth”—refers to healthcare that is provided through telecommunication infrastructure. Until fairly recently, telemedicine primarily served patients who lived geographically far from healthcare providers. Now, telemedicine companies have grown exponentially, serving a variety of patient needs.
One area in which telemedicine has particularly grown is in the workplace. Businesses small and large are incorporating telemedicine into their employee wellness programs. With this technology-driven healthcare option comes a wealth of benefits, from saving time to cutting health costs in half.
Five Telemedicine Benefits Employees and Employers Appreciate
According to the American Telemedicine Association, an estimated 74% of America’s largest employers offered telemedicine services in 2016—an increase of 48% from the year before! So what makes it so popular? On a micro level, telemedicine is convenient and saves money in healthcare costs, but there are many more examples of how this service positively impacts both employers and employees. Take a look at seven benefits that can explain why more and more companies are integrating telemedicine into their employee wellness programs.
- A Variety of Wellness Offerings
A top concern of those unfamiliar with telemedicine is that the medical diagnoses made during consultations may be inaccurate or limited. After all, the method of communication is either phone or webcam.
In reality, the Wellness Council of America has noted that 70% of all doctors visits can be handled over the phone. This means a variety of health and wellness issues can be telephonically explored, from pediatric problems to the common cold.
- Treatment and Prevention
In addition to providing treatment advice for a range of conditions—such as the flu, a sinus infection, and strep throat—medical consultants can provide preventative medicine. Management and screening of chronic conditions are often a built-in aspect of telemedicine. Physicians can help field patients for potential health risks such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Many employees in the U.S. work beyond the eight-hour “standard.” On top of work obligations, there are family commitments and extracurricular events that make doctors visits one more time-sucker. Imagine eliminating drive time and doctor’s office waits—doesn’t that lift some of the stress? Telemedicine significantly benefits employees with limited time, as well as diminishes the likelihood of procrastinating a much-needed physician consultation.
- Healthcare Cost Reduction
Studies are emerging that demonstrate how telemedicine and telehealth services can save healthcare costs. One study shows that most non-emergency telemedicine and telehealth visits are often approximately half of the cost of an in-person doctor or urgent care visit.
- Tool for Supplementing Wellness
Although telemedicine can be a full-time healthcare solution, it may also serve as a perfect supplemental care option. For individuals who have full-time insurance and prefer in-person visits, having access to preventative screenings and other services in between “live” doctor’s visits can be useful.
Telemedicine the Wellworks For You Way
At Wellworks For You, our partnership with WellVia, a leading telemedicine provider, provides companies across the nation with convenience, reliability, and confidentiality. Our corporate clients appreciate the reduced pricing, privacy, and effectiveness that telemedicine provides for their employees.
Through a seamless, personalized telemedicine portal, employees can communicate with physicians, pediatricians, and board-certified specialists from all over the nation. All physicians are held to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) standards. Telemedicine patients can opt for a phone or video consultation, depending on their preference.
WellVia specializes in efficiency, with average provider call-back times between 10 and 15 minutes.
If you’d like more telemedicine examples or want to learn more about the comprehensive employee wellness programs available at Wellworks For You, set up a consultation or call us anytime at 800-425-4657